Video of UMass Amherst Resident Assistants at a May 6, 2002 rally and march for union recognition with UAW 2322. The resident assistants and hundreds of supporters marched across campus. Speakers included labor sociologist Dan Clawson, several RA's, local labor leaders.
The RA's fought an anti-union administration for a year and a half, voted overwhelmingly in an NLRB election for union representation with UAW Local 2322, and still UMass refused to recognize the union or negotiate with the Resident Assistants, instead they hired union-busting consultants and lawyers including Seyfarth Shaw and Ambash.
UMass Resident Assistants became the first undergraduate employees of any university in the US to organize a union, but won a contract only after a hard-fought struggle for recognition that included 35 arrests and garnered nationwide support in the face of a university that refused to recognize the legal right of its' employees to organize a union...
July 31, 2002
UMass Amherst, UAW Issue Joint Announcement on RAs
AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts Amherst and United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2322 announced today that they have reached an agreement to begin collective bargaining of a contract that would cover the resident assistants and community development assistants in the University's residence halls.
The resident assistants (RAs) voted to unionize on March 5, 2002, and the state labor relations commission certified the results of the election, but the University had refused to bargain with the union and had asked the labor commission to reconsider their certification.
The Globe article and alert about the 35 arrests:
SUBJECT: UMASS ARRESTS 35 AT UNION DIRECT ACTION